Steroids and Bodybuilding Blamed for Heroin Overdose Death
By Millard Baker ~ source
The parents of competitive bodybuilder Ian Karl Jens Barlow returned home one afternoon last September to discover their son unresponsive with a syringe sticking out of his left arm. Barlow had recently broken up with his girlfriend and moved into his parents’ house. Now he was dead. Barlow had overdosed on heroin.
A medical examination by North Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley determined that the death was accidental. A heroin overdose may have been the proximate cause of Barlow’s death but his parents want to blame bodybuilding and anabolic steroids as responsible for leading their son to his tragic fate.
The father told the inquest that his son only turned to heroin after he became addicted to anabolic steroids. The father reached this conclusion since the heroin habit began when his son was involved in bodybuilding.
The father was not too thrilled about his son’s participation in competitive bodybuilding. He learned about his son’s steroid use about ten years ago. He apparently saw bodybuilding and steroids as a gateway to heroin. He supported this assertion by claiming that many of his son’s friends had taken the same path.
“It just started when he was doing bodybuilding and weight lifting,” according to the father. “A lot of his friends had gone the same way.”
He was so concerned about his son’s use of steroids that he took him to a drug rehabilitation program administered at a religious monastery.
“I did try to warn him off steroids in the beginning,” he said. “It did not work so I took him to the Priory – that was a waste of time.”
Clearly, the loss of a child is an unimaginably difficult experience for a parent. Grieving parents often find comfort by desperately blaming something – anything – to make sense of such a devastating event. Steroids have been so demonized that they are a convenient target in such tragedies.
Unfortunately, blaming steroids and bodybuilding often distracts attention from other predictive causes of such senseless deaths.
Richards, A. (December 28, 2011). Man turned to heroin after steroids, inquest told. Retrieved from Man turned to heroin after steroids, inquest told - Basingstoke Observer Newspaper